roasted berries and cherries

In just a few days, I’ll be sitting in a New Orleans hotel conference room, speaking to a room full (hopefully) of food bloggers about managing time effectively. The goal of the panel discussion is to be interactive, with me and Marissa leading the conversation and offering up our own tips and tricks.

Of course, this comes during a stretch of days – weeks, even – where I feel as If I’m doing everything BUT managing my time effectively.

Sort of ironic, really.

Like most people, I’m balancing lots of different things in my life at any one time, and now seems like one of those times that I have too many balls up in the air. Juggling too many balls means that I’m bound to drop one here and there.

Yesterday, I did.

I forgot that I was supposed to attend my son’s pre-kindergarten open house. I was busy working on a Power Point presentation for work instead. I finally got home just before 7:00, with the presentation done, but feeling awful about missing the open house. Thankfully, my husband was able to attend it since I didn’t remember, and it all turned out to be no big deal.

But still.

That whole mommy-guilt thing really knows how to give a hard kick in the ribs. And then a second kick for good measure.

Let’s move on to the recipe.

We’re closing out the season of summer fruits soon, and I wanted to share this very simple recipe with you. These roasted blueberries and cherries break down into a rich dessert sauce, making a wonderful topping for a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream or even a slice of pound cake. Other than the time it takes to pit and halve the cherries (and wear an apron when you pit them – trust me on this), there is very little active time involved with this recipe.

So make this. And while the berries and cherries are roasting, use your time wisely to catch up on that stack of food magazines you have sitting on the table. Or sort your mail. Or read a story to your kid.

Or just take a little rest at the kitchen table with a warm cup of tea and your thoughts. Go on – you deserve the break.

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Roasted Berries and Cherries


2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
Zest of 1/2 lemon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine cherries and blueberries in a large mixing bowl. Add cornstarch, sugar, brandy, and lemon zest. Stir to combine well. Pour in a 9 x 9 inch baking dish and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until the juices are released and bubbling at the edges, 30-40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then store, covered, in the refrigerator.

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8 Responses to “chocolate chip banana cake”

  1. Kiran @ — February 1, 2015 @ 9:05 pm

    As soon as we have overriped bananas, i’m baking these deliciousness! Happy knitting, my friend 🙂

  2. Flavia — February 1, 2015 @ 9:25 pm

    I always look forward to your posts, MJ. Your writing is soothing and comforting and it always feels like I’m in the place you are describing. It’s been so much fun sharing our new hobbies–knitting for you; crochet for me. Although I’m still riding the learning curve of crochet, taking up this endeavor has helped calm the “noise” in my head and the anxiety in my heart. And seeing something created from a simple skein of yarn amazes me continually. It’s just the same with cooking or baking. Ingredients coming together to make a delicious end result. Banana Cake with chocolate chips is one of my favorites. I’m recently converted to hand-chopping a bar (or two) of chocolate  for a more rustic “look” to the chips–I love the sharp shards, some of which melt while others only melt a little, giving the chips texture throughout the cake.

  3. Paula — February 2, 2015 @ 12:07 pm

    I love banana bread and often add chocolate chips.  I’ve never made it in cake form and yours looks wonderful, love the addition of cinnamon.  That Guernsey Wrap looks wonderful too and I’m looking forward to seeing your finished one (as I am looking forward to your other banana cake recipe).  Have a safe flight to San Diego and happy knitting 🙂

  4. Sharon — February 2, 2015 @ 1:36 pm

    Looks delicious…wish my bananas weren’t so ripe.  Question:  are you allowed knitting needles on a flight?  Just asking.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — February 4th, 2015 @ 5:19 pm

      They’re allowed on Delta, and I’d imagine they’re allowed on the other major US airlines, but it’s a good idea to check first.

  5. Beth (OMG! Yummy) — February 2, 2015 @ 2:42 pm

    Love the rum and yogurt in it. My daughter is leaving on a trip on her birthday — I will be making a batch of banana chocolate chip mini loaves to send her off with. Nothing is more comforting or delicious than baked banana and chocolate, at least not in our house! Enjoy San Diego!

  6. Mallory @forkvsspoon — February 3, 2015 @ 11:39 am

    I love that wrap!!  I have not had the confidence to start a sweater, but this wrap seems a bit more approachable…Hope you have a safe trip and this cake, while I am not a fan of banana baked goods, everyone in my office is begging me to make it for them!  

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